Gehry to unveil first Australian project

Gehry’s Australian university project opens

Australia’s first Frank Gehry building featuring many of the famous architect’s signature curves has now been opened by the country’s Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove.

The idea for the $180 million Dr Chau Chak Wing Building at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) came to Gehry after a 2009 visit to see the old Dairy Farmers site in a run-down part of the city.

After a pizza with the business school’s dean, the architect scribbled down a design for a treehouse shaped building with a central trunk with branches for learning and reflecting.

At the opening Gehry said: “I’m pleased with it but I haven’t seen it in operation yet, I haven’t seen the kids here or witnessed the outlet being used.

“I’m hoping to do that and especially speak and meet the faculty today about ideas I have and to hear their thoughts about some of the spaces. It’s open-ended and it hopefully gives them the spirit of invention.

“This building can and will be manipulated over time and will change as it’s being used. People will invent ways to use it. The tendency to build buildings where everything is fixed for a fixed programme is an obsolete notion.”